A/N: So this is my first fic, so please be gentle with me. It was inspired by a Lee Ann Womack song.
100 points to Gryffindor if you can figure out which one.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee, any of its characters or the actors that play them. This is purely a work of fiction and purely for fun.
Marsha. Seriously, who names their kid Marsha in this day and age Chris thought as he slammed his car door. He looked around at the other cars parked in Mark's yard to see if Darren was already there. He sighed with relief when he realized he had shown up before his friend and co-star. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. Chris smiled as he did his very best Jan Brady impersonation in his head. He had yet to meet Darren's new girlfriend Marsha, but he was already certain he would hate her.
Letting himself into the hill top house, Chris grabbed a Diet Coke from the fridge and walked into the backyard smiling, grateful for the reprieve from work and the friends to share it with. He did the rounds, made small talk then found the perfect place to stew – a comfy couch situated perpendicular to the back French doors which still offered a clear view of the yard. It was also situated in the cool shadow of the house shielding Chris from the unrelenting LA sun was a bonus that did not go ungratefully noticed.
He had barely sat down when Darren and Marsha came through the back doors making a beeline straight to him. If possible Darren's goofy grin was a little wider and he had his hand wrapped around the waist of the woman beside him.
"Hey Buddy" Darren called "…this is Marsha." Chris gave a silent sigh and stood up offering the brunette his hand. Chris let out something akin to a shriek as he felt arms close tight around him; he did his best to gather his senses and placed a few small random pats on the girl's back as she pulled away.
"Chris, I am so happy to finally meet you" Martha gushed and Chris could tell she was sincere. "Darren's told me so much about you, I feel like I know you already."
"Don't believe a word he says..." Chris deadpanned the rehearsed line, a forced smile on his face. In return Darren gave him a light punch on the arm, still grinning.
"No seriously Chris…" Marsha continued "I know you and Darren are best friends and I don't want to get in the way of that. I am all for bromance" Chris winced at the word "… and the support system you share – whenever you need him he's yours. I just hope that the three us will get to hang out together sometimes too."
Wow. Chris was shocked, shocked and touched. Well practiced or not that was one of the best I'm-gonna-be-stealing-your-best-friend-from-you speeches he had ever heard. The debater in him was impressed – so impressed for a split second Chris did not hate her. He gave her a genuine smile and took a minute to look at her unbiased. Pretty hair, flawless skin and even Kurt Hummel would approve of her outfit. Yeah this one was a keeper- and with that thought his heart broke just a little bit more.
"Hey! Don't I get a say in the timeshare arrangements" Darren joked breaking him out of his reverie.
Both Chris and Marsha looked at Darren and at the same time and shouted "NO!" and all three laughed easily.
"So how did you meet Darren?" Chris asked, although he already knew the answer trying to put Marsha at ease.
"Well I've been working for PETA for a while and after taking a few years to see how a successful non profit works I decided to start my own. I am trying to get musicians to donate instruments to inner city schools to support the arts and that's how I met Darren." Marsha's story was rewarded with a squeeze from the grinning guy beside her.
"Listen man, I hate to break this up…" Darren said leaning in conspiratorly and Chris tried not to get giddy in the delicious scent that was Darren, "and I am so happy you two are getting along, but I think a couple of the girls are over there are giving me the evil eye – I'd better go introduce Marsha to everyone else" and with that he drug Marsha away while she gave Chris a wave and goofy grin.
Yeah, definitely a keeper Chris thought again as he dropped back into the couch absently grabbing his soda and bringing it to his lips. He glanced at Darren again and closed his eyes enjoying the scent of his co-star still around him. It wasn't going to be so bad Chris thought; he could handle it.
"Hey Chris," it was Lea. "Did you know Marsha is a vegetarian? And she…" as she continued all Chris heard in his head was "Blah, blah, blah." In an instant he changed his mind – it was going to be worse than he thought.
A while later: "Guess what?" Dianna smiled, "Marsha says she knows an animal cruelty free brand looking for a spokes model and is gonna set me up…Blah, blah, blah"
And so it went on all afternoon. Cast mates stopping by the couch to share news on the newest member of the group. Chris shook his head at the thought. After awhile he put on his shades and started messing around on his phone hoping everyone would think he was busy and leave him alone.
"Dude…" Cory held his hand out for a high five. Chris begrudgingly raised his right hand high. "Marsha just killed Mark in Mario Kart. You need to come watch the rematch its gonna be epic."
"Thanks I'll pass. Working on a something here Cor…" Chris said dismissively. After Cory left he couldn't help himself. He leaned forward trying to inconspicuously glance inside the living room.
His heart dropped. Marsha was on the couch, controller in her hand. Darren was behind the couch massaging her shoulders, same goofy grin on his face. As if he had felt Chris' eyes on him, Darren turned his head, just catching a glimpse of the younger man as Chris pulled his head back quickly.
A minute later, Darren was outside in front of him. He rested a can on the side table and said "Hey man, thought you could use a refill."
"Thanks" Chris grumbled, never taking his eyes off his phone.
"You okay?" Darren reached out squeezing the square of pale flesh between the bottom of Chris' cargo shorts and the top of his knee, making his best attempt to see behind Chris' shades. Darren's touch was like fire and Chris' heart flipped without his consent.
Taking a deep breath (and mentally chastising himself) Chris looked up and said as nonchalantly as he could mange "Yeah, …sorry Dar, I had another idea for the book series and I want to get it down before I forget."
"That's cool, I understand" Darren said lightly, taking his hand off Chris' knee and rubbing Chris arm "just don't spend your whole day off working 'kay".
Chris dropped his head and nodded, still typing furiously. Not stopping until Darren was back inside the house. His eyes glanced at the nonsense he had been typing. He sighed, willing himself not to cry and began to push the delete button wondering how much longer he had to stay at the get together before anyone would question him leaving.
He told himself he was not going to let Darren Criss and his girlfriend ruin his day off – but deep inside he knew the damage was done. He grabbed the fresh soda; he knew it was a peace offering of sorts, but unfortunately Chris' heart wasn't buying it.
Chris glanced at his watch. Thirty more minutes and he was out of here. All he had to do was keep his head down and pretend to be working – just like he had been for the last 2 hours.
Ashley's eyes lit up when she saw Chris, her partner in crime, co-conspirator and best friend. "Hey Chris…" she let out while flinging herself onto the couch "did you know Marsha went to performance arts high school like me?"
"Actually I couldn't care less" Chris snapped not taking his eyes off his phone.
"Wha…" Ashley turned to look at Chris, his face a little paler than usual. "Hey what's wrong?" She made a move to pull off his shades and pulled back suddenly as Chris swatted at her hand.
Just then a single tear dropped past Chris' sunglasses. "Oooh Boo…" Ashley cooed as she wiped the tear away, mentally slapping herself upside the head for her stupidity and insensitivity.
Looking at his best girlfriend, Chris let a few rare unguarded words leave his mouth, whispering: "I really hate her, Ash."
Without missing a beat, Ashley's arms went around Chris pulling him to her chest and she growled quietly and with indignation: "Me too." She then kissed Chris' temple and said sincerely "We'll think of a reason later".